Guest article by Tami DePalma and Kim Dushinski

Work with the bookstore. Your book signing coordinator, often called a community resource coordinator, has probably conducted many more book signings than you have. They usually have a good idea of what works and what flops in organizing an event. Rely on their expertise to get more people to your event and to buy books when they get there.

Tell the book signing coordinator what marketing efforts you are putting forth to attract people into their bookstore. Ask them what advertising and publicity they will do to get people to the event. Make sure that between the two of you, you’ve found ways to reach your targeted audience repeatedly. Ask to see the materials they distribute, and check for accuracy.

When sending releases to the media, remember, the media likes free events, especially when the event directly applies to their audiences. They don’t like what they call a BOPSA — A Bunch of People Sitting Around. What can you do to involve your audience? What activities will make great photo opportunities? Involving your audience will also get them more active in your subject and more likely to purchase your book. Just don’t have a BOPSA.


The following Book Signing Activity Checklist puts you on the right track. Eight weeks is the minimum time to carry off a successful book signing event. With the competition from other authors increasing, more and more book stores are scheduling three months in advance.


During Plan Determine dates and cities

8 Weeks Prior Call booksellers to schedule book signings
6 Weeks Prior Coordinate marketing responsibilities with booksellers
5 Weeks Prior Facilitate bookstore with ordering books as necessary
4 Weeks Prior Send out media kits – get contacts from store
3 Weeks Prior Contact MarketAbility/PRNewsWire – regional coverage
2 Weeks Prior Follow-up with media, provide new information/angles
Re-send / Re-fax information as necessary
1 Week Prior Check with booksellers for sufficient quantities on hand
1 Week Prior Travel
Send out PRNewsWire
Week of Event Media Interviews
At the Event Pick up store newsletter for your files
Meet as many booksellers as possible
Have attendees sign up for your mailing list
After the Event Send Thank You Note to Contact at Book Store
Send Thank You Note to Media who Covered Event

Copy this form as necessary for each book signing.


Date ______________   Time _________________________
Store _______________________________________________
Address ____________________________________________
City ________________   State _______   Zip ________
Contact _____________________________________________
Phone ___________________   Fax _____________________


Media Release to Media ______________________
Event in Bookstore Newsletter ______________________
Post Card Mailing ______________________
In-store Signage ______________________
Bag Stuffers ______________________
Co-op Ad ______________________
Point of Purchase Displays ______________________

About Tami DePalma and Kim Dushinski
Excerpted from MAXIMUM EXPOSURE Marketing System – Publicity and Promotion Blueprint for Book Publishers, which was created by Tami DePalma and Kim Dushinski, partners at MarketAbility. In business since 1989, MarketAbility markets books through publicity, promotion, internet and special sales. Their passion and their motto—Book Publicity and Promotion, with a Twist! has earned maximum exposure for dozens of independent publishers. MAXIMUM EXPOSURE was created for small publishers who have great books, and expect (and deserve) unlimited results on a limited budget. More information is available by calling 1-888-55-TWIST or emailing